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Tannehill, Wallace need to connect more in practice

MIke Wallace caught slant pass from Ryan Tannehill midway through practice Monday and about 40 minutes later caught a deep pass from the starting quarterback over the top of the defense for a touchdown.

That was good.

That was also it.

Tannehill targeted Wallace three times in practice and the duo connected twice. And that's fine except when you consider that Tannehill actually attempted more passes to reserve receiver Brian Tyms. And tight end Dustin Keller. And Brian Hartline. And just as many to Jeff Fuller, another reserve receiver who may or may not be on the team in three weeks.

So if you ask me are the Dolphins feeding the Tannehill-to-Wallace connection a good diet in practice, I would say absolutely not. The fact is Monday's work was pretty much typical of what has happened in all the practices I've witnessed this training camp when counting Tannehill-to-Wallace connections.

Sometimes they hook up twice in a practice. Sometimes three times. Rarely more than that. Sometimes they go an entire practice and don't connect at all. Meanwhile, Tannehill connects with Keller all the time. He has a definite chemistry with Hartline. And he seems pretty comfortable throwing to Brandon Gibson as well.

All that is good -- except that none of those other guys are the caliber of playmaker that Mike Wallace is. None are being paid what the Dolphins are paying Wallace. None are feared around the NFL as Wallace is feared.

So why is Wallace catching fewer passes in practice than his peers? And, incredibly, why on this day was he targeted fewer times than a receiver who is fighting for a No. 4 or No. 5 WR job?

Perhaps I'm making too much of this. But it has happened on a number of days that I've watched practice. And, if you believe like coach Joe Philbin does, that practice is important and eventually will reflect what we see in games, then this trend is potentially alarming.

Tannehill doesn't seem to throw nearly enough to Wallace in practice to suggest this is going to be an elite combination in the NFL this season.

(Return of the peanut gallery here: But Mando, you're just a dumb columnist who never played the game and you're making a big deal out of nothing and, after all, Allen Iverson said this is just practice.)

Fine. So I asked Wallace the simple question: Is he getting enough passes thrown to him in practice from Ryan Tannehill?

"Ahhhh, I think it's going to come," he said seemingly surprised by the question. "Obviously I didn't practice for like a week and a half so that kind of takes away shots I would have had. But I think I get enough balls. Well, I wouldn't say ... We have a lot of periods in practice so you're going to catch a lot of passes. At the same time we have so many guys and there's so much going on so fast that you're not always going to ge the ball."

Stop right there. Wallace is a professional. He's not a troublemaker. But neither is he a liar. So he's clearly hedging his answer. He obviously doesn't want to say something that could potentially make folks look bad. But neither does he want to suggest something that is so clear is not true. He also doesn't want to sound like he's complaining.

So he just talked in circles a little bit.

"You know, there are certain plays that my coach wants to see me in and for those plays I make sure I get the rep and I get extra plays as well," Wallace said. "But there are certain plays he wants to see me run a certain route and I might not get the ball but this is the look we'll look for. I understand what's going on so you're not going to see too much frustration out of me just like I need to do this or that. I feel like I'm doing a great job at doing the things I plan to work on -- just getting in my spots and learning the offense. I feel like I'm a playmaker on the field. That's what I do. I'm not really worried about that. As long as I know where I'm going and I'm able to play fast, I think I'll be fine."

So to recap, does Mike Wallace think he's seeing enough passes from Tannehill in practice?

Ahhhh, at some point that will happen. I was injured for a while. I get enough passes. Well, maybe. We've got a lot of guys on the team and they have to get there's so I'm not always going to get the ball. There are plays I'm just running to see what the defense is doing. I'm not going to get too frustrated about this. I'm not complaining. I'll be fine.


The only reason this is even a minor issue is because Wallace made his preseason debut last Friday and didn't catch a pass. Indeed, Tannehill never looked at him.

Was he open?

"I had a couple of shots out there we could have took," Wallace said. "But there's a lot of things that go into that. Obviously, it's not just me getting open. We have a lot going into that so everything has to flow together and I think we'll take care of it and I think we'll hit those shots I think we have."

Yes, getting the ball to Wallace deep means the offensive line has to block well and give Tannehill time. And then the QB has to feel confident about throwing it to Wallace.

Neither of those happened against Jacksonville.

"There was one where we came out and started a drive with a play," Tannehill said. "I ended up moving around and hitting Gibson over the middle, but going back and looking at it, I could have stayed in the pocked a little bit, just pushed up and kept my eyes downfield. Mike ended up winning on the outside. Other than that, that’s kind of the way the game fell."

The Dolphins studied the tape of the Jacksonville game and say they are committed to improving their ability to getting the ball downfield to Wallace.

"That’s one thing we are working on this week is using the pocket, getting a little bit better protection, but using what I have to do better, stepping up and finding a way to get the ball downfield," Tannehill said.

The irony here is that in a practice where that's a focus, Wallace only caught two passes. In a practice where the idea is to get the ball deep, Tannehill is throwing to Tyms more often. Really?

Obviously, it is still early. The Dolphins have the chance to multiply many times what we're seeing so far. But how that's going to happen in games, particularly ones that count in the regular season, if it doesn't happen in practice stumps me.

That has to change. Soon.

Because if Mike Wallace continues to catch only a couple of passes from Tannehill in practice, he's not catching two or three times that many in real games.


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The only leverage that Ross has is an empty stadium which he can use to extort the new stadium out of the taxpayers or he'll move to LA.

If the stadium is full on game day he has no leverage.

If the stadium is empty then he has leverage.

fraud nice try again, but u cant shock them on that anymore. everyone knows la really doesnt even care to have a team and if they finally scdtually approve a plan its the chargers going there. ur losing ur touch. make up something totally off the wall

I lived in LA area in early 80's.
The Raiders played in LA, they won SB with Marcus Allen - no one came to the games.
Eric Dickerson was on the Rams down in Anaheim; no one went to those games either.

Just a thought, I'm guessing that the point of "practice" includes the defense as well, so there's a need to mix things up. DBs are pretty smart too; if the "plan" is to get a bunch of deep balls to Wallace in practice, don't you think they might figure that out and just play off/deeper? They're also fighting for a job.

hartline didnt catch one ball in preseason last year, pretty sure he did just fine. come on fellas u realize mando just writes this garbage to get u guys talking

yup LA has no interest in nfl

Armando takes a "me against the masses" approach to reporting. As part of the masses, it doesn't sit well. It sounds a lot like Omar Kelly who also knows it all and talks down to his audience.

But reading the comments section has me concerned that Dolphins fans are some of the dumbest folks on the Internet -- a land teeming with stupidity. The sky has apparently already fallen.

jaykub my 8-8 prediction same as it was months ago

he seems to worried with the pass rush and has a bad case of happy feet..i believe he needs to focus downdield on his speedy targets as they are the ones who will get open the quickest...maybe we can put blinders on him during practice...and guess who we play this weekend??? no other then JJ WATT!

Posted by: budtki | August 13, 2013 at 03:07 PM

Budtki what makes you think the staff on the field are oblivious to what reporters point out? I really wish you would list some examples so we could debate this statement. Obviously I completely disagree but I would like to see your examples before going further with that part.

Also you talk about seeing the big picture but then blame Tannehill for having happy feet eventhough his line is pourous? So pourous that in one practice they sacked him 4 times in a row. 4 times in a row it was a jail break to the qb.

That means as soon as the ball is hiked he is immediately looking for an escape route. You want him to stick in there and look for his guys down the field but the problem is it's only been 2 seconds and they have only run 15 yards and are still covered. They haven't busted the top off the defense yet. He has NO time to look down field and NO QB does when his line can't block. That's part of the big picture I think you left out. Who's arguably the greatest QB of our time and sure hof'er? Tom Brady. How does he look against teams that get pressure on him? Like poop. Why would ANYONE expect better from Tannehill under the same exact conditions?

Mr Fraud,

That's EXACTLY what the Baseball Owners did to the city of Miami

They threatened to leave....and through some 11th hour 'backroom' deal they forced the City of Miami to take out a bank loan from Wall Street to pay for the team's stadium.

By the time the residents of Miami pay off this crooked loan (over 30 years,) they will have spent FOUR TIMES the original cost of the stadium.

By the way...the last time I checked the Marlins were 27 games back. They SUCK.

Long even seems to relish the chance to prove to people he’s still one of the best blindside protectors in the game.

“Absolutely, I love it, “ Long said. “People have doubted me and talked down about me a lot throughout my career. I am excited for it. I love the challenge to prove to people that I still am an elite tackle and I’ve got a lot more years left in me. I have proved people wrong before and I’m going to do it again.”

In this training camp, Long has looked every bit the part of the shutdown left tackle. Long has been incrementally getting more reps as camp goes along and appears to be handling those reps just fine.

And speaking of the o-line. You Ireland haters want ammo please stop with the hooker stuff. Also stop with the worst gm because of draft picks bs because he's actually right in the average range for picks. For some perspective, since 2010 Ozzie Newsome has hit on less picks then Ireland.

HERE'S YOUR AMMO. The guy STILL has not put together a cohesive o-line. Philbin shouldn't have to be tinkering around trying guys in different positions. The line should be set and making strides towards cohesion. (lol I'm going to copy Mando here)

"But Phins our RGs have been injured and aren't ready yet."

I know. And Ireland knew as well before he signed Lance Louis and did nothing to replace Jerry who has been overweight and inconsistent. No backup plan, going with scrubs.

"But Phins (heeheehee) the line was built for a rushing attack and now Ireland is trying to change it into a pass protection line that is athletic and can pull."

Oh yeah? Then why does the line STILL excel at run blocking and struggle with pass blocking. He had last years draft and offseason, this years draft and offseason, and yet we are still trying guys out at positions they aren't comfortable with because there is so little depth at EVERY oline position.

There's your argument for getting rid of this guy, it's all you need.

The Marlins are a better franchise than the Dolphins 2 recent World Championships to none for the Dullfins. And the stadium is state of the art gorgeous.

In saying that I realize Martin and Louis or Jerry could still be very good for our phins. We're hoping right? I'm sick of hoping and wish we could have one unit besides the d-line that we can fully trust. I used to think Sporano was the reason the oline can't pass block, it seems now that Ireland has a lot more to do with it then any coach ever could.

I don't hate Ireland and could point out moves he has made that I love. But the constant o-line issues are really starting to annoy me. Especially considering one of the first things Fatcells taught Ireland was that you have to be strong in the trenches. Build your o-line and d-line first. Still waiting on a cohesive o-line. It would be nice to have the same starters for two years in a row, is that too much to ask?

Dion Jordan = Another Irescum bust?

Sorry about the fatcells thing. I don't like name calling but that guy fooked our team up even more by bringing fools to run the place and tucking tail and stealing OUR money before he finished the job. He came in and the team did well thanks to a Brady injury and then they regressed each year. Great job!

Trolls are here. I'm out.

The team has regressed every year since Parcells left.

Dear Ray,

NO STADIUM is worth 2.4 Billion Dollars.

Not Now.
Not Ever.

There were several people got wealthy from this.
...and everyone else 'bent over' and paid.

It's one of the biggest public grabs in history.

There is nothing you can say that justifies
these crooked jerks.

When is Jeff Ireland going into the HOF?

Trolls are here. I'm out.

Posted by: Phins78 | August 13, 2013 at 06:35 PM

When are and Armando going to stop making excuses for Tanne?
It's the owners fault...
It's the Gm's fault...
It's the HC's fault...
It's the Oc's fault...
It's the OL's fault...
It's the RBs fault...
It's the TE's fault...
It's the WRs fault...

When we had a man playing QB everything was his fault; he didn't blame Columbus, BM's dropped TD passes, Carpenter's 4 missed Fg's in 1 game, the ref for failing to call the end zone fumble against Pitt, Ricky, Ronnie, Ginn or Camarillo.

We need to get back to having a QB that can be blamed for everything AND that will take the blame without complaint.

Just like the Marlins, the Dullfins get rid of their best players every year. Sean Smith, Wes Welker, Brandon Marshall, Jake Long, Reggie Bush, Karlos Dansby.

Seems like Tannehill doesn't trust the O-line and doesn't want to force something to Wallace. Once the O-line solidifies I think we'll see more from Wallace.

The following do not need solid OLs in order to make the SB every year:


While you all evaluate practices and preseason and fluff reporting, I pretty much focus on one thing. That which is consistently more often on target than anyone's or any site's predictions, to see if it will change by game 1.

Numbers don't lie.

For our favorite Canadian...Mark...


4 TDs 388 Yds

While none of you consume more than a few short, biased, subjective opinions, the machine consumes billions of rows of data, oh yes, billions and analyzes it, rendering the silly opinion of any fan absolutely useless if not even foolish.

The work is done for you. But if you prefer to rub two sticks together to get fire, that is certainly your choice.

mando, do you get paid by the number of words you write? Because you rehashed the same thing about twenty times, and I'm just wondering if that's a designed tactic, or you're just a hack writer.

You are all powerful that is true.
However you need to add some more code to your computer: Pat McQuistan has been released from the Walmart training program and will report to the top of the OL depthchart manana.

I'm sure very soon someone will give a rebuttal saying Vegas is not always right. Those are the ones with limited reading and comprehension skills, for nowhere do I say Vegas is always right.

I merely say they are by far more often on target than all the other sources of information combined.

In the first place how do we know these 2 guys { tannehill and wallace} arent working out in private more than we realize??? I would not worry about this until the start of the season and we get the O line set and gelling together. why get tanne killed trying to holdout in the pocket trying to get the ball deep this early in the pre-season. If you haven't noticed we have not had the serius injury problems that other teams have had so far. Did anybody ever think about that? we must have our key players healthy to start the season, very tough schedule early.

To have any real hope of making the playoffs, we need to see Vegas nudge up to 9 very soon. With a one game margin of error that would put us at 10 wins and certainly a wild card. At 7.5, well, it's kind of like wishing on a star. Sentimental, but not very effective.

For a fan to have any remotely objective, they would need to follow all the other teams in the conference as closely as their own, to see how many of those teams got better or worse. What Vegas is telling us is that most of the teams that were already better than us got better, and our improvements were not enough to close the gap.

Our competition has a huge advantage that heavily weights the algorithms, unity. They are teams that have been together longer, same system, same coaches, than our latest quilt of a patchwork team.

I thought about that and I published my feelings in this more than 2 weeks ago with posts like, "...why do we have to play in the shhty HOF game again and NE never does...".

Now forget Vegas for a moment. We played two teams, one mediocre, the other terrible. We looked awful against the mediocre team, they were ready, we weren't. We looked better against the awful team only after a very slow start when the back ups were already in.

So, this early evidence alone coincides quite well with the current Vegas line.

Now I will enjoy a nice steak dinner. Good night all.

Trying to hide Wallace? There is no way we can hide Wallace. Everyone knows what he does (blow the top off), everyone knows what the Phins were missing (deep threat). So what good is it not show it or practice it. They definitely need more rep hookups, especially on the OTHERS!!! We hear a lot of talk on how the speed of Wallace can open up the field for the other receivers. However I think Tannehill & Wallace should be utilizing this speed for the OTHER routes as well. Such as a 15yrd out, a deep cross and the Hartline "HART-stop & comeback" route. Routes that could nullify the over-the-top double team. The OTHER routes takes a lot of reps. $60 million dollars worth of reps.

Last year Wallace averaged 55 yards/game with BigBen.
Since Wallace only catches balls after blowing off the top of the D then he must have averaged 1 or 2 catches per game which is consistent with his 1 or 2 catches a week in practice.

Everything is unfolding exactly the way Ross and Ireland planned it.

Phins78 @6:22 and 6:27

Good stuff!

Not an Ireland basher, since I believe he is the best GM we have had since Jimmy. (Not that that is saying much). And for those that think we are not tremendously better now then we were when we went 1-15 and cleared house (which brought in Tuna, Ireland, etc) are foolish. On defense back then our best defenders were aging JT and JPeasy. No corners, no dtackles, no safeties, no nothing on D. Offense found aging Ricky, Ronnie, and the thrillo Camarillo for 1 play (ole). No qb, no Wr's, no o-lone, nathan! We are headed in the right direction. Defense looks to be Top 10 for sure, maybe top 5. We have some speed and playmakers now with Wallace, Miller, Gibson in the red zone, Keller at TE, Thigpen from the slot (wait for it). But your first post at 6:22 was spot on. Depth and cohesion on the o-line, without it, doesnt matter how good an arm T-hill has, or how fast Wallace is. Won't matter how many good players Red has acquired (Wake, Pouncey, Wallace, Miller, Vernon, Jordan, T-hill, Grimes, Ellerbe, Jones, etc) his bed will be made and his fate will be sealed if the o-line doesn't come together!

And that would suck, cause we'll be back at square one again.

With the Jets!

YGiizzle, do the blog a favor and take your silly rant down the hall. Goodbye now.

Just so you know, there is way more to the game than any fan can see. Reading these blogs only demonstrates the fans lack of awareness. Your assessments and opinions are at the level of teaching a 5yo ABC.

If you think you know anything, you really don't. Blogging I see is nothing more than elecronic masturbation.

Just read the '72 team is going to the WH to be honored. Bout time, too bad it's not a better pres tho.

too bad it's not a better pres tho.

Posted by: cocoajoe | August 13, 2013 at 08:28 PM

With a name like cocoa I'd think you'd prefer a neegadent.

cocoa joe,

Did you want Romney the rich white supremacist? Fight for the rich, screw the poor?

Florida is the only state where the cockroaches are smarter than the general population.

yup LA has no interest in nfl
Posted by: dusty bottoms | August 13, 2013 at 05:58 PM

That's something I'll never understand.

What's your point Vegas dude?
Are you saying Vegas predicts everyones schedule EXACTLY everytime?
Because if they don't, its all BS.



Wow, Vegas told us an idiot who can't read would arrive, and one did -> Sosa | August 13, 2013 at 08:45 PM

I'm seeing 8 now on some lines so Vegas 7.5 will need a name change soon. Of course that would fit in with that persons MO.

Sosa, you have pretty much told the blog how freakin stupid you are. Better disappear or change your name.

We haven't even begun the 2013 regular and we can pretty much assume what our 2014 1st rd pick will be. Will it be A, B, C, or D:


It will be D. if all goes well. If not, guaranteed it will be A, B, or C.

Only a Jests fan would say they support Irescum.

No majic mouth wash dude.
At the end of the day, no one cares about what Vegas or your dumb asss thinks.
So what's your point?

Anyone knows what Dr. James Andrews charges? I have 20yr old football injury that wasn't fixed quite right...

My dick has been the size of an anaconda ever since...

Zonk is 14 and never had a girl touch his weenie.

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